Sometimes, bands have interesting ways of becoming an accustomed part of my playlists.
The Back Story
In November of 2010, I was introduced to a band called States. I listened to the song “Time to Begin” a few times and really enjoyed it, but with the magnitude of music I listen to, I didn’t listen through their debut EP Line ‘Em Up more than several times up until about a month ago.
What happened a month ago, you ask? While searching for upcoming concerts, I saw that Circa Survive was going to be playing in Omaha, Neb. at The Slowdown. Excited as I was, I also wanted to know a little about the openers, so I checked out Maps & Atlases and States.
As soon as I revisited Line ‘Em Up and heard “Anxious,” I knew they were going to be a fantastic opener at the show. Doing a bit of research, I found out that vocalist Mindy White was formerly a member Lydia and that Bryan and Stephen Laurenson were formerly members of Copeland. With a love for both of those bands, my excitement level kept going up.
Now, let’s fast forward to Sept. 30, the day of the show. States was the first band to go on to the stage at The Slowdown. I realized after arriving and listening to their first song that they had a new album coming out on Oct. 18 titled Room to Run. Through their set, they mixed both new and old songs into their setlist including the aforementioned “Anxious.”
The best news during their set came when they announced that although their album was not set to be released nationally until Oct. 18, they had copies of it with them for sale. Following the show, I approached the band and talked music for a few minutes, bringing up Copeland (who was on the shirt I was wearing) and Lydia and how much I appreciated their performance that evening.
I was able to purchase their CD following our chat and popped it in as I drove around Omaha that night with one of my good friends.
Now that I’ve explained the context for this review, I’ll get to the actual reviewing. The album opens with “Timebomb.” After listening through the song, I would contend that the song title could easily be an alliteration of this band’s potential to explode onto the music scene in a matter of time.
The song is one of the grittier songs on the album, but it still maintains the ambience and melody that also accompany States’ songs. First listen reminded me a bit of Deas Vail or The Material. “Timebomb” plays a similar role to “Anxious” in that it gets the listener immersed in the album from the get go.
From this point on, States meticulously crafts an album that varies its sound with each song. One of my favorite songs “Right or Not” takes to our ears on the third track of the album and satisfies the sound of a song I’d listen to on a late night drive with bright stars above. One listen by anyone else would likely help back up my statement.
Another favorite is “Waiting (For Too Long).” This is the next to last song on the album and shines based on its constant melody changes. White showcases her vocal range late in the song as she sings “and the water was swallowing your neck but I couldn’t see it/I guess robbery is what I get/believing in something for too long.”
Clocking in at just over 35 minutes, Room to Run is an impressive and mature release. After seeing them live, there is no doubt that they live up to their CD performance. Following a cover of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley when I saw them live, the crowd cheered loud for White as she hit notes even Anthony Green wishes he could hit.
When Oct. 18 comes, make sure to check out this release. You will not be disappointed. States will only go up from here.
For fans of: Deas Vail, Weaver at the Loom, The Material, Edison Glass, The Graduate